Patrick Nyarko
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire

Quote Sheet: Fire vs. HOU

Quote Sheet:
Chicago Fire 3 – 1 Houston Dynamo
Toyota Park – Sept. 2, 2012

Frank Klopas - Chicago Fire Head Coach
Thoughts on the match...
“We talked about putting ourselves in a position to control our own destiny. We had five, now four, games at home and I think that we put ourselves in a position where we’re in the game and  you have to be able to win the game and be in the fight. Last year it was a different situation, we were playing catch-up. Right now we’re in a good spot; we’re in a good spot because we don’t have to rely on other teams. We have to worry about ourselves. We need to keep going and keep working hard because we can’t get comfortable and relaxed. It was a very good win against a very good team, and now we have an opportunity with a little break and a exhibition game against Santos to see how some guys are and to look at some other guys, and to continue to improve and get better. The one thing I have to say is that we have to make sure that we cut down on the easy goals that we give up in order for us to be a better team going forward. But it was an important win for the guys that put a lot into the game and now this is behind us and we need to keep going and improving and working just as hard and be ready for the next match because everything we worked on up to this point can change very quickly.”

WATCH: Klopas Post-Game


On scoring in just the first minute and the aggressive start to the match…
“I think one of the key things with us is the cooperation with the two forwards, with [Sherjill] MacDonald and Chris [Rolfe]. We knew that they obviously push a lot higher on the left side with [Corey] Ashe and they like the square passes once you force them to one side. The key was for the forwards to work together and deny [Ricardo] Clark the ball. I think Patrick, we talked about it in training, about putting himself in a good spot, because when they switch the ball, maybe he could intercept the ball. It was a great start. Then we scored a second goal. I didn’t see what happened in their play, if it was a hand ball or not but maybe we got to look at that because we gave them an opportunity.  We had some other chances and maybe you need to score the third one at that time and put the game away because momentum changes very quickly if you give up the next goal. The fast start was good but more than anything, we talked about at halftime was that it doesn’t matter if we score another goal, it’s not to give up a goal. That was the key for me and I think  we need to keep working, especially on finish games off and keeping clean sheets.”
On playing for the first time since the transfer of Marco Pappa to SC Heerenveen…

“Marco is a good player. You’ve got to miss him. We scored three goals today. Other guys have to step up. One of the things, bringing [Alvaro] Fernandez in, we knew that in the end, Marco was going to be gone. We had a rotation between Fernandez, Patrick [Nyarko] and Marco. You hope every game is going to be like this but Marco is a quality player. It was a situation that we just couldn’t pass up at the moment as far as making a move and giving ourselves an opportunity to have the funds to improve the team, keep guys together and keep improving. But we also felt very comfortable with the group that we had because the most important thing is to make the playoffs, so if we didn’t feel confident, we wouldn’t have done it.”
On giving up a late goal…
“I mean, it’s nervous, no? I mean, the last five minutes, all you do is pray. The way the game started, you’re hoping that maybe this is a game that with the chances, maybe we can put it away but at this point, they’re all going to be tight matches, difficult and, you got to be able, more than anything, just from a mental standpoint sometimes it’s not about playing great soccer, but it’s not going to happen. Teams don’t give you the space, they close things down quicker. Now it’s just a mentality not to give anything away. To compete to the end and to impose your will. It’s all about competing. You have the passion to win. That’s what it’s all about at that moment. And we gave up that late goal and that’s an area that we got to do better. We play a team that’s obviously very good in situations like that. [Brad] Davis is a guy that, other than Beckham, is probably one of the best that I’ve seen at serving balls. And they have quality players so you got to limit those opportunities that you give them, and we gave up a late goal. I think they pushed the game and we caught them on the counter and we finished the game off. But I think we need to finish games better.”
On the decision to bring Logan Pause into the match three weeks after he suffered his rib injury…

“I saw him in training. He was training, the doctors saw him, he was cleared, he felt like he was ready to start the game, and in the training he had a couple of hard knocks and he felt good. He was ready to go. He really wanted to start this game which was a remarkable comeback. You have a guy like that; he’s the captain for a reason. From a health standpoint he was ready to go. We wouldn’t have risked it but at that point I felt like we were pushing a lot on the left side with Ashe, he was quality with the service and they pushed Davis out wide. If you saw when we brought Logan in, the last five minutes, they moved Davis to the other side. He was ready. In training we saw that he was getting stronger every day. He had a couple knocks in training that he had no issues with. He just wanted to go. It was a great lift for the team at that moment, and I think it was being at home and the fans, I think he lifted the team in the last five minutes that he came in and did a great job.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire Goalkeeper
On the defense after an early goal:
“The defensive mentality after the early goal was fantastic.  We’re very hard to beat when we score first.  I don’t even know if we’ve lost a game after scoring first, it’s very big especially at home.  We’re a very tough team to play against once we’ve scored a goal.  We knew once we scored, we weren’t going to lose that game and it has to be our mentality.

WATCH: Player's Post-Game


On the result:
“We played well over the course of 90 minutes and I’m definitely pleased with the effort tonight and I’m going to look forward to getting better as a unit and getting to the game in Toronto and getting another result.”

On his call up to the US Men’s National Team for the game versus Jamaica:
“Jamaica is obviously apart of my culture having my whole family being from there,  but that being said we’ve got to go in there and get a job done.  The task at hand is a World Cup Qualifier and preparing for 2014.  It’s going to be a good experience heading back to Jamaica after four years and working with the National Team.  It’s a great group and always an honor to be called up to represent your country.”
On being with the National Team for their historic win in Mexico:

“It was crazy.  I can’t really put it into words.  I think being a part of history is something that I’ll remember forever.  That group of guys is just warriors.  Being with that team, in that atmosphere and the fact that we’ve never won there is something huge for the boys to have under our belt.
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire
On the importance of a win tonight:
“After the last game against D.C. we were kicking ourselves because we know we were better than that.  We didn’t bring our game against D.C. and deservedly we lost game really badly.  The team understood that and came out today to change that.  This game was huge in terms of the standings and for personal pride.  We came out playing hard right out of the gates , we could have done a little better in terms of possession  but overall I think we were in-tune with the game plan.”
Logan Pause, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On the result:

“Houston was ahead of us in the standings, but we pressed along and put ourselves in a good spot and I’m happy about that.”

On his quick return:
“After about 10 days I got an x-ray and it conformed the collapsed lung had healed, which was the big thing the wanted to make sure was healed.  I’m still managing with the ribs.  It is what it is, that said as long as I can tolerate it each day then I can keep pushing along and put myself in a position to come back as quickly as possible.”
Daniel Paladini, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On his role with Logan Pause returning:
“Whether it’s coming in off the bench or starting the thing is that we’re a team and when I’m called upon I’ll be ready.  I have a ton of respect for Logan, he’s one of my best friends on the team, and if they want to put him back in there’s a reason for it.  He’s been on the team for 10 years and there’s a reason for it.  I’m just here to perform my role and if I’m call upon I’ll be ready.”
Houston Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear
On the first half:
“Well, we gave away two goals, let’s be honest.  Anytime you present a team with a couple gifts, it makes you chase the game.  Two bad giveaways, two goals, and Chicago was more than happy to take those chances.”
On the match:
“We started off the game not well, fought well to get back into it a little bit.  Ton of possession.  Defended well.  As soon as they got a goal or two, they were going to sit back deep and just try and soak it up and try and break. “
On trying to tie the game up late in the remaining minutes:
“We got another corner kick [after Ching’s goal] and I thought we looked dangerous on some of the set pieces late in the
second half.  Obviously throwing guys forward, you’ll be susceptible to the break.  Brian game in and made a difference for us, held the ball up.”
Houston Dynamo Goalkeeper Tally Hall
On the defensive breakdown from the two goals:
“Obviously, we can pass a little smarter.  I see the game the best; especially from early on in those situations and I know the ball needs to get out of pressure.  I look at myself, and how I can present myself in a way that I am either the option to get out of pressure or I am giving the players information to help them get out of pressure.  I think those two passes were difficult to make.  Even if we make them, I don’t think they are the ideal way to get out of tricky situation, especially in our own half. Especially early on.  As a goalkeeper, it always goes by you last.  It’s the responsibility of the goalkeeper to prevent a goal and in those situations I think that it starts with that pass getting out of pressure, and I think we can do a better job playing smarter soccer.”
On the team’s performance in the second half:
“Obviously much better.  There’s still some things that we can do better.  We have done better this season.  It seems like we’ve gotten away from those things, I don’t know if they start at practice, if they start at warm ups, or they start when the whistle is blown, but there are difficult things we need to do.  But that’s what the team in known for.  It’s day in and day out where you have to be better.  We have gotten away from doing the difficult thing, and the results have shown.  And by difficult things, I mean we’ve gotten away from doing the hardest work we can do.”
On the team’s next match versus Real Salt Lake:
“The way the last couple of games have gone, it’s almost like it’s become playoff time in the sense that our descent from the top of the Eastern Conference [has been fast.]  We’re still in a playoff spot but we have to start winning games, we have to treat games like the end of the season, like we did last year.  That’s where we found success.”
Houston Dynamo Captain and Midfielder Brad Davis
On the match:
“Disappointed, obviously.   This is an important game; obviously we have seven games left.  We feel like we’ve given up points from the past few games that we could have taken advantage of.  I feel like we were ready to go before this game happened, and then one mistake right at the beginning.  So it was difficult but we have to try to play ourselves back in.  I think we waited until the second half to really pick things up.  In the second half, we came out and pressured.  We had some opportunities to score some goals.  Second half is too late to get going.  But we’re still in it and we have a big game Thursday against Salt Lake.”
On gearing up for the playoffs:
“Every point does count.  That’s the mentality we need to have.  If it ended today, we’d be in, but seven games is a lot of games and we have to continue to get points.  We have a little patch here where we’ve been giving away some points.  We aren’t happy about it at all.  It’s part of the game.  Professionally we have to turn it around come Thursday.  It’s a big game and we better come out with some fight and some spirit and win that game.”
On getting points from the stretch run:
“Points are crucial heading down the stretch.  You always want to end your year on a positive note, with a good, solid streak.  We didn’t have the best start last year but we all of a sudden won our first road game that the end of the year and made a great run into the playoffs.  That’s the kind of run you need to have.  You need to be a hot team; you need to be the team that’s playing well, getting the points, getting the wins and gather confidence.  That’s what we need to concentrate on now.”